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A Frames


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Even if the postapocalyptic world of the future runs out of more than just oil and freshwater--if, for instance, there's somehow a shortage of musical notes--this Seattle robot-punk band will be all set. Using only a few basic materials--simple, almost affectless vocal melodies, squared-off guitar and bass lines that repeat in blocks of two or four, and methodical, brutally minimal tom-heavy drum patterns--the A Frames assemble bleak, ugly, perversely catchy songs with an economy of gesture and inflection that'd make the guys on Iron Chef absolutely green. The new Black Forest (released in March on Sub Pop) is so taut and ascetic that the 14-second bursts of horned-hand hard-rock backbeat in "Galena" feel like the balletic eruptions of bloodshed in a Takeshi Kitano movie. Black Forest is the A Frames' third full-length but their first for a major-ish label, so if you haven't seen them play already you're officially a lap behind the rock nerds. But that's not to say you shouldn't bother catching up: if listening to an A Frames record is like watching The Day the Earth Stood Still on AMC, then a live set is like having Gort climb out of the TV and throw down with your refrigerator. The band often plays on the floor in front of the stage, toe-to-toe with the audience, and when front man Erin Sullivan hits one of his rare "solos"--that is, four quick bars of corrosive but surgically precise guitar noise--he likes to put his head down and stride purposefully into the crowd. The Tyrades and the Camaro Rouge open. Fri 7/15, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $8.

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